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Paris Main Street announces a Community Art Fundraising Initiative

Paris, Texas Main Street Program is embarking on a new fundraising project with a mission to engage and inspire the community using Art. The project will provide a necessary improvement to historic downtown while showcasing the many talented people in the community.

The project, “6(square)‘d” will take place in September, but now is time for preparative work, says Cheri Bedford, Paris Main Street Coordinator.

Bedford explained that the project is being created as a unique way to engage the community and also to fundraise for a much needed public restroom facility in downtown.   The restroom design will be consistent with the historic district and placed in partnership with the First United Methodist Church public park project. Fundraising is necessary but many individual businesses are already working behind the scenes providing in kind services in support of this much needed amenity for downtown.

The idea of “6(square)‘d” is to get artists and arts supporters to create art on small canvases. These canvases are provided by Paris Main Street. The canvases are turned back in to the Paris Main Street Program, and then sold via special exhibit for $20 each. All proceeds will go to fundraising efforts for the public restroom project.

The title “6(square)‘d” refers to the size of the canvas on which the art will be created. The canvases measured in inches and are 6” x 6”. The Historic Gibraltar Hotel is the location where “pop up” gallery event will be held.

Participants are being asked to create art on the canvases provided. Not only will oils and acrylics be part of the event, but watercolors, photography and even 3-D items will be accepted for the exhibit as long as they can be mounted to the Main Street-provided canvas and not extend beyond the dimensions of the canvas.

But, Bedford wants to make sure everyone understands that this is not just for professional artists.

“We’re inviting children, adults, civic groups and local leaders to participate. We’re asking celebrities on local, national and even international levels to join in the fun,” she said. “We’re making connections with many, many people to help with this project and sending canvases out to other communities and states.

“We will need the support of our entire artist community, our leaders and the public in order for this project to succeed,” Bedford said, adding, “but it will be great fun to be part of the event.”

This year’s goal is to have more than 500 canvases to hang in an exhibit that will begin with a public opening show on September 6th  at 6 p.m. at the historic Gibraltar Hotel in downtown Paris. Part of the fun of the purchasing process is that the artists who create the pieces will remain anonymous until the purchase is completed, and the canvas is turned over to reveal the artist’s name.

Each participant 18 years of age or over can request a maximum of three canvases each. Those who complete three canvases and turn them in to the Paris Main Street can request three more. Youth 17 and under are eligible to receive one canvas each.  The Main Street will retain ownership of unsold canvases and will sell them at a later date.

The canvases will need to be completed and returned to the Paris Main Street program no later than 4 p.m. on Tuesday September 2nd. The exhibit will open with a reception on Saturday September 6, and alternate times for purchase will follow for the two weeks after the event.

Those who would like to participate in “6(square)‘d”  should go to parismainstreet.org for full information on how to participate. Participation forms are also available on the website. Information is also available by calling Paris Main Street Program at 903-784-9293 or emailing jillmdrake@gmail.com.

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